The 10 best secondhand buys and why

Published: 25 February 2002

SUZUKI TL1000R ’98

Price when new: £8649. Price now: £3650-£4050

Slow sales ever since it was launched in 1998 – its TL1000S sibling has already been discontinued – means big discounts are available on new ones. And that has in turn hit secondhand prices.

" I feel a bit sorry for this bike, " said Boskovic. " The TL brand never recovered from rumoured tankslappers. The mud stuck. "

KAWASAKI ZX-6R ’98

Price when new: £7600. Price now: £3000-£3500

Cheap parallel imports and slower than expected sales of the ZX-6R last year have increased discounts on new models, driving down the price of used ones.

" Virtually every model in the ZX-R range can be picked up very cheaply secondhand, but particularly the ZX-6R, " said Hobson.

YAMAHA R1 ’98

Price when new: £9499. Price now: £4125-£4425

The cost of insurance has hit litre bike sales hard. Boskovic said: " Manufacturers and dealers over-anticipated how many R1s they’d sell, over-ordered and then had to sell them cheaper. No-one’s going to pay £5500 secondhand if they can get a new one for not much more than £6000, so the used price has to fall, too. "

YAMAHA FAZER 1000 ’01

Price when new: £8099. Price now: £5495-£5895

Hobson said: " A high new price hampered sales of this bike, while the difficulty in getting insurance has also hit sales of big musclebikes. " Discounts and an official £800 price cut have helped clear surplus stock, and ensures plenty of cheap year-old examples.

HONDA FIREBLADE ’98

Price when new: £9615. Price now: £3500-£4000

The FireBlade has also been hit hard by the downturn in litre bike sales. Boskovic said: " It’s almost ridiculous, in a way, that this bike still has a list price of £9000. Everyone knows you can get a new one for around £6000, albeit not a 2002 model. That’s why secondhand ones are so cheap. "

HONDA VTR1000 FIRESTORM ’97

Price when new: £8345. Price now: £3095-£3495

Honda hoped the surge in popularity of V-twins, namely Ducatis, would ensure this bike’s success. Boskovic said: " Ducati has a name for making V-twins. At the time Honda didn’t. That’s why you can get brand new ones for £5000. " And that means the secondhand price has to drop, too.

HONDA CBR600 ’99

Price when new: £7345. Price now: £3825-£4125

A glut of unsold CBR600s in 2000 forced dealers to offer big discounts on new ones, and in turn on secondhand ones. According to Boskovic, the arrival of the F and FS in 2001 drove prices down further. He said: " It meant dealers had to order stocks of two bikes rather than one. It prompted

over-ordering again. "

SUZUKI GSX-R750 ’00

Price when new: £7849. Price now: £4700-£5000

Boskovic said: " There are loads of cheap ones around because people seem to be choosing either 1000cc bikes or 600s, not in between. And 600s are so powerful, 750s hardly seem to justify the insurance. If you’re going to pay through the nose, it might as well be for a litre bike. "

APRILIA RSV MILLE ’99

Price when new: £9449. Price now: £4450-£4850

The RSV was launched against Ducati’s 916, but never attained the same prestige. Boskovic said: " The 916 is a bit like Levi jeans. To many it’s still number one. And some people still associate Aprilia’s big bikes with its two-stroke RS250 and assume they must be unreliable. "

DUCATI 748 BIPOSTO ’98

Price when new: £9400. Price now: £5000-£5400

Boskovic said: " Ducati likes to say you can’t get any discounts on its bikes, but you can. You may not see any discounts advertised, but dealers still reduce their margins to do deals or 0 per cent finance. " And like every other model, cheaper new 748s means cheaper secondhand ones.